Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan-Gingersnap Crust


I made the original version of this recipe for Thanksgiving last year and it was truly wonderful. I've never been a huge pumpkin pie fan, but I still love the flavor of pumpkin. Then, I went to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner, and they were offering samples of this cheesecake (I would have NEVER ordered it...I'm a chocolate girl!) Anyway, I tried it and was amazed! I went home and searched recipes online to find one similar. I modified a few things, and this is what I came up with. It is the perfect blend of being unique and flavorful, but still consisting of that subtle pumpkin flavor. I plan on making it for every Thanksgiving from here on out!

But THEN, this year, I tried it with a pecan-gingersnap crust and it was ten times better. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!



Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan-Gingersnap Crust
-adapted from The Cheesecake Factory-


Crust:


1 1/2 c. gingersnap crumbs (about 25-30 small cookies)

6 Tbsp. butter, melted

3 Tbsp. brown sugar

3/4 c. ground pecans



Filling:


1 c. sugar

3 pkgs. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. canned pumpkin
3 eggs
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. allspice



Toppings:
Fresh whipped cream
Candied pecans, for garnish

Caramel sauce, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.



For Crust: Use a food processor to crush gingersnaps. Then do pecans. Combine gingersnaps, pecans, brown sugar, and butter and stir well to combine. Press into a 9" spring form pan, and cover the outside of the pan with foil. Evenly spread across the bottom of pan and up the sides about 1-1 1/2 inches.

In a large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, 1 c. sugar, and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and continue beating until smooth and creamy. Pour the filling into the pan and bake for 60-70 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool.

When the cheesecake has come to room temperature, put it into the refrigerator. When the cheesecake has chilled, garnish with whipped cream and candied pecans. Drizzle slices (or plates) with caramel if desired.
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